The National Health (1973) Movie Script

The present demand for hot water
is more than the hospital
boilers can supply.
Would all departments please use hot water
as economically as possible. Thank you.
Will Dr Singh please
report to Bannister Ward.
- Will Dr Singh please report...
- Wait a moment.
Sister? Where should I put
this new patient?
- In Mr Lucas's bed.
- Come on there, move on.
All right, Mr Barnet.
This is your bed.
Nurse Sweet? Screens round
this patient's bed, please.
Oh, right, Staff!
I'll get you some pyjamas.
Morning all!
Morning, friend!
Good morning!
Wonderful spirit!
You're not allowed to sit on the bed.
Which bed is for stripping?
Oh, Kenneth's.
He's going out this morning.
Which is Kenneth?
Surely you know Kenny?
They all look the same to me.
Patients are reminded that
record requests for Radio Battenberg
must be made before
half past eight A.M. Thank you.
Good morning.
I have a message for you.
It's that God gave
His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him
should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
- He's welcome to it.
- Isn't it wonderful'?
The best news ever.
There is no death.
- I'm dying.
- Dying only to live.
- Oh, all right.
- God bless you, and get well soon.
Good morning, I have brought
you a message. Good news.
From my wife, is it?
God gave His only begotten
Son to save us.
I thought it was about the taxi.
Every one of us.
You could help them to
quicken it up?
God bless you, and get well soon.
"In all our perplexities,
worries and care..."
- Good morning.
- How d'you do?
Have you heard the news?
I was just about to.
God so loved the world
that he gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him
should not perish
but have everlasting life.
There is no death.
I've got the greatest possible respect
for other people's beliefs...
God bless you, and get well soon.
But if what you say is true,
where does that put Mr Lucas?
He was in that next bed there,
till last night!
Have you heard the news?
Er, Jesus died to give us life!
- It's wonderful news!
- It certainly is! Thank you.
God bless you,
and get well soon.
Good morning...
They ought to stop her coming round.
Oh, I don't know.
People don't want religion when
they're not feeling up to the mark.
And get well soon.
I'm off then. Ta-ta, mates!
Goodbye, Kenny.
Take care on that motorbike, now.
My father used to say,
"Better five minutes late in this world
than fifty years early in the next."
- He sounds like a lot of fun!
- He was wonderful.
You're old enough to have
consideration for others.
I got consideration!
'Ere, d'you know what
got me in here this time?
Dodging a dog!
I've never killed an animal.
Never would. I'm animal minded.
Hitler liked animals.
- Who?
- He was opposed to blood sports.
- Hitler'?
- Who's he when he's at home?
Oh, you're never walking
through the streets like that!
My girl's brought the bike.
Must be school holidays, then.
No. She ought to be in school, but
she took the morning off to get me.
I'll be taking her straight home,
see my animals have been looked after,
then get round to her!
Oh, well, goodbye then, Kenneth.
We'll be keeping your bed warm for you,
if you've no objection.
- All depends how.
- Now then.
- Eh? All depends how!
- Now just stop that!
- You'll get her into trouble!
- Hear that? Get you into trouble!
That was Mr Lucas's bed!
It's my bed!
I haven't even laid in it yet!
Now, I'll tell Sister!
I can take on Sister and all,
if she wants some.
Bye-bye, all. Gel well soon!
Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Goodbye to you!
- He's gone long ago, doctor.
- Oh.
Bye bye, Sister!
- Ta-ra, mates!
- Are you off then, eh? Come back soon.
No, listen. Come here.
It's wicked to laugh, I know,
It's wicked to laugh, but I said to
this old man in the next ward,
"Dad, you better watch your step."
He said "Why?"
I said "They're bringing in
a case of syphilis."
He said "Well, it'll make a
change from Lucozade."
See ya!
Will Dr Singh please
report to Bannister Ward. Thank you.
Get a towel and have a bath
before you lie on those clean sheets.
They keep you busy here!
They wake you up
to give you a sleeping tablet!
No blackie pushes me around!
Er... which way is the bathroom?
What's his trouble, then?
The new man?
Haven't a clue.
He looks rather poverty stricken.
Got no pyjamas of his own.
I used to tell my boys in school,
"A decent voice, and a tailor-made suit
will always put you
a out above the scum."
This is Radio Battenburg.
God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him should
not perish but have everlasting life.
- Yes or no?
- What?
Have you had your bowels open?
Staff Nurse Norton awoke suddenly,
and moments passed before she realised
she was in her room in the Nurses' Hostel.
One name was on her lips: Neil.
How in the submarine
strangeness of the right ward
his fingers had touched hers
and their eyes had met.
Hi, Cleo! Wait for me!
On hi, Betty!
What makes you so impatient
to get on duty?
As though I didn't know!
Come in!
Ah, Neil.
You, er, wanted to see me, father?
Come in.
If ifs about the informality
of my ward rounds,
I've told you my views before.
You have indeed. At length.
Isn't it a shade ironic, father,
that you, the devout believer,
see other people as inferiors.
And I, the sceptic,
regard them as my equals?
How was your last
spell of duty, Betty?
Well, you don't have to be mad
to work here, but it helps!
What happened?
Well, Johnny, er, Mr Monk,
as doing a thoracoscopy
on the spontaneous pneumothorax,
and had decided on
an insufflation of iodized talc,
when Mr Boyd came into the theatre
and started giving advice.
Well, Johnny... Mr Monk, just said.
"Don't bug me, Mr Boyd."
So quiet, you know?
And eventually, the old man went out.
But he was shaking, Cleo!
You don't think he feels threatened,
do you. because of Johnny being...
Being black, you mean?
This is not paradise, Neil.
This is Greater London.
And in Greater London
it is not yet common practice
for a senior white-skinned
house physician
to be seen off-duty
with a black-skinned nurse.
Now, just a minute!
You'll not only hurt Nurse Norton,
you'll hurt Sister Macarthur.
- Sister Macarthur?
- Sister Macarthur, yes.
Have you forgotten the promise
you made your mother?
No, I've not forgotten.
That you'd marry Mary
and make her one of the family.
But mother was dying.
She was hallucinating.
She had to be humoured.
Have a care what you are saying, Neil.
If she were alive today, she wouldn't
expect us to keep that promise.
- You think not?
- I know not.
And Mary? What about Marys feelings?
While you're so busy
with your noble sentiments,
have you given one thought
to her? To Mary?
Father, I think that I
ought to tell you
that Mary and I...
Okay. I'm on my way.
This conversation will have to wait.
Our haemophiliac's haemorrhaged.
Come along, ladies, come along!
Knickers on! Stand by your beds!
Them as can't stand, lie to attention!
Oh dear, oh dear.
Come on, Doctor, hands off!
Give it a rest, you'll be going blind.
- Ssssh!
- Dr Bird.
- Oh.
Do you get cramps at all?
Funny you should mention that. I do get
these, er, what I call cramps, in the leg.
Have trouble getting
your foot off the ground?
Funny you asking that, I've said
I don't know how many times,
I have trouble getting
my foot off the ground.
Shocking sight, a man being fed
like a baby, through a spout.
Is that a lovely drink then,
Mr Flagg?
I can drink my tea and eat my dinner!
Yeah, course you can.
- Oh, Mr Barnet, be a good fellow.
- What?
You could get them to get a move on
with my shoes and socks, couldn't you?
Where can I go without them?
Yeah, well, perhaps your wife'll
bring 'em in when she comes, eh?
Till then, what about a spot
of fresh air on the balcony?
Rely-poly, on your bot-bot!
'Ere, and when she does come,
no funny business!
- What do you mean?
- Well, pulling her into bed, eh?
Don't make him laugh too much,
he hasn't got a bottle!
I don't want a bottle. I'm not a baby.
Shan't we put him in the chair?
No, let's walk him,
he needs the exercise.
Yeah. Might make him a touch
less lively when his wife comes in.
- There's a clever boy!
- Go it, Doctor!
Which is why they invented rugby!
Keeps their minds off it.
I didn't hear that remark.
I used to be a scrum-half.
I could run like a rabbit.
Yeah. Not only run!
- Ooh, look out, he's doing it.
- Oh, God help us!
- You hold him, I'll get the chair!
- Why didn't you have a bottle?
I don'! want a bottle!
I'm not a baby!
You're gonna fall!
Naughty boy! You all right?
He caught me across the ear.
Here, have a lie down.
Here, I'll get the screens.
Dr Bird?
Are you all right?
I've been on duty
for twenty-nine hours!
Why are you keeping him
alive like a baby'?
Thank you, Mr Mackie!
You know he'll never walk again!
Save it for a more suitable occasion.
We know it. His wife knows it!
- But you have to keep the farce going.
- Tell us the same old story
- La la la la la la
- I'll get him a fresh pair of knickers.
Right, Dr Rees,
get those trousers, shall we?
There we are! There!
Spot of bother with Dr Rees.
He Welsh or something?
Welsh, yes.
Thought I could tell the brogue.
Stroke. Spunky old blighter!
Next to him, er, Mr Flagg.
Bladder trouble and complications.
By the door, Mr Mackie.
Not very cheerful looking,
any of them.
I've found that if they keep you in the end
bed, you can prepare to meet your maker.
Our aim is to, er, work our way along,
to the farthest window by the balcony.
I'm Mervyn Ash, er, tummy ulcer.
Been in here a fortnight so far.
On a blotting paper diet.
Tapioca, semolina, boiled fish, chicken.
The merest glimpse of semolina
makes me heave.
It always has, don't ask me why!
I was horribly depressed
when I came in here.
Largely because I abhor my work.
Clerical. I'm a clerk, if you please.
I see in the daily rag, now, where
they've got a computer thingamajig,
can perform a clerk's entire life work
in ten minutes!
Marvellous, isn't it?
Oh, highly gratifying!
But, er, I've known better things.
There's the jolly old rub.
Handling the young is my vocation.
My first year at a teacher's college
was a benediction!
And even though ten years of pen-pushing, d'you
know, I've never lost my interest in boys.
That's Gordon.
He's what I call my adopted boy.
At this super-duper private school
I put him to in Kent.
Er, got no clothes on, has he?
Swimming trunks! Ha!
Flesh coloured?
- Yeah.
- Mmm-hmm.
A few more white lives saved, Nurse.
Another good day's work.
To me, of course,
they're just a few more lives.
Maybe I'm a square.
Only a square would use
such antique phraseology.
I'd prefer to call you
politically illiterate.
What girl could resist such flattery?
- Face facts, Cleo.
- What facts, Mr Monk?
Like if we all decided to go back
where we came from,
their health service would
instantly disintegrate.
I'm sorry, Johnny.
But I'm too fatigued
to start school at this time of night.
Gonna look for Mister White?
Let me pass.
'Allo, 'allo, 'allo!
You lot 'ere again?
'Allo, dad, how are you?
Just finished the washing up.
A woman's work is never done!
Hello, Doc! How's the Doc
this beautiful evening?
- Evening all!
- Evening! Wonderful spirit.
Go on.
How do you do?
He's gone, doctor! He's gone!
Oh, friend Tyler
is always full of beans.
Me, I'm up and down like a yo-yo.
Mainly down. Phew!
Which accounts for the ulcer,
I suppose. Ha!
They can't keep you in here!
Easy, friend. Hold your horses.
Ha! Nobody said they can!
Once they've found out who I am.
Once they can tell me that,
I'll be out of here like a...
Who you are?
Once the police get on to that.
Not that I want them sticking
their noses in my business.
I didn't ask them to!
Know what I mean?
- Ready for visitors?
- Yes, Sister.
How long do you think
you'll be here, eh?
Good gracious, it's about time you...
Eh? Mervyn, he's doing all right.
Doin' fine, yeah.
Don't you know who you are?
No. That's what they brought me
in here with, my memory.
Did you receive a blow on the head?
But let them try to get me to take the
cure, they got another think coming!
The patient with the retro-pubic
prostatectomy has a self-retaining catheter
and ward sister's been reminded of the liability
to deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolus.
- Mary?
- Yes?
- Father called me to his office today.
- Oh?
- He wanted to speak to me about...
Yes. You, and...
Me and... him?
No, me.
You and... me.
- Us.
- Yes.
To remind me of our
promise to mother.
Do you remember that promise, Mary?
Your mother was almost
a mother to me, too, Neil.
How could I forget?
But mother died, five years ago.
I was only twenty, and...
and I was twenty-six.
What are you trying to say, Neil?
Cleo. Mary and I...
There's something we have to tell you.
With a change of clothing.
Get back, you! Hey! Hey, mister!
You all right, Doc?
Yeah. How is the old fellow?
Now, now, Mr Flagg,
where do you think you're off to?
It's half past twelve,
there's nowhere open.
You shouldn't be doing this, Desmond.
I'm all right.
I was afraid he'd start
to tear his bandage off.
You all right, now, Doc?
He'd open the scar,
he'd know all about it.
Are you one of the nursing staff? No!
No, Ash! Tummy ulcer.
Oh, nothing to worry about.
You'll soon be out of here.
Unlike poor old Flagg,
and you, sir... what's your name?
They won't be with us long,
I'm afraid.
Baloney, Doctor. So much baloney!
Back to bed, Desmond, I can manage.
Flagg had chronic urethritis,
makes your dicky sore.
Leave it to the doctors!
I am a doctor!
See the way I fell down?
Went to walk and...
in my youth I could run like a rabbit.
Area High Jump Champion!
There, there.
I beg your pardon.
We're a highly emotional people.
Ask anyone.
Sentimental and sloppy, if you ask me.
We didn't ask you!
Sleep well.
Could I bother you for a bottle?
I want to wee-wee.
Thank you, Mr Ash.
Go back to bed, now.
- Night, Staff.
- Night.
Tell you what, me old mate.
You talking to me?
If you could see your way
through letting me have a drink?
Which would you like?
- What about brandy?
- Ovaltine or Horlicks?
I've got the shakes!
Go to sleep now.
Have a sleeping draught.
You can't keep me in here!
Belt up!
Go to sleep now. Hmm?
Could you send a duty
doctor to Stafford Cripps Ward, please.
Sometimes the nurses do it,
sometimes us.
So you've got to be conversant
with the modus operandi.
Now, I like to see my apparatus all laid out
like a tea service, with a nice while cloth,
quite brings me on to see that,
you know.
Look at this.
Washbowl, sponges, nail brush,
file, safety razor, scissors,
tweezers, cotton wool,
carbolic soap, shroud.
Three labels, ball point pen.
All of 'em covered with a sheet.
That's in case one of
the other patients,
catching a butcher's,
thinks it's all for him.
Now you are behind the screen, right?
First, you strip the patient down,
and wash him spotless with carbolic.
Cut the nails,
they can snag the shroud.
Shave the face, trim the head.
Comb what's left.
'Cause relatives, they don't want to
find themselves mourning a scruff.
Ha, do they?
Next, cotton wool.
Any suggestions what I do with that?
Nah, no, don't, don't!
Because it happens, Les,
you would be absolutely right.
We have to close the orifices.
The points that might
evacuate bodily fluid. Right?
Miss one out, and they/ll
raise Cain in the mortuary.
Right. Next, tie the hows-your-father
with a reef knot. Obviously.
I didn't hear that remark.
Oh, it's all right, Nurse.
We'll all be getting it sooner or later.
Even you. Ha ha.
Well, in a manner of speaking.
Pete Barnet!
Yeah, well, all that remains
is to tally the patient. Name, religion.
A label each at wrist and ankle,
and one sewn into the shroud.
Right, Les, will you be mother? Hm?
Mornin', Mervyn!
Mtho... morning to you, friend!
Lovely morning!
Wonderful spirit!
It's like royalty going to
the toilet, isn't it, eh?
What? No, listen.
If the Monarch is unusually tall,
attentive observers
can spot that coronet bobbing up and down
all the way to the velvet convenience!
I Roll along, covered wagon
Roll along, roll along
Roll along, covered wagon,
roll along...
- Good morning.
- Morning.
- There is no death.
- Get away!
Do you know, in England today,
we've got as high a standard of dying
as you'll find anywhere in the Free World.
- Get away!
- Straight up.
- Morning, chaps.
- Morning.
Right? ho-.
His dentures.
Oh, thank you.
Oh God our help in ages past
Our hope for years to come
Be thou our guide while troubles last
And our eternal home
Wonderful spirit!
What's his trouble?
Diabetic. Six times in here
in the last two years, they say,
and every time an amputation.
First his feet, then his calves.
- Then his knees.
- All right, me old mate.
- But always a joke.
- Got to keep smiling.
One for you, Mr Ash.
It's from my boy Gordon!
Perhaps to say he's coming to see me.
And the last for Mr Flagg.
Hmm? Hm!
Shall I read to you?
Ooh, there's a funny man
with no clothes on.
He's all red because he's blushing.
"I'm covered in confusion,
I'm a crazy goon,
"I forgot to tell you,
to get well soon - Daddy-oh!"
Looks like they forgot to sign it.
- That letter for me?
- Dr Rees.
Is he coming in then?
I... I didn't expect it really.
Um, they're having
a barbecue at the school,
and he's got to be there,
I accept that. Ha!
Oh, this is hell.
I must speak with you.
Won't Sister Macarthur
be wondering where you are?
But it was she who told me
to come and speak to you.
I've been telling her all about... us.
You mean, you and me.
X-105 G, please
remove it from the space reserved.
- Morning, Sister.
- Morning, Mr Carr.
The coppers found out
who he is yet, Sister?
Not yet, sir.
Came in complaining of severe cramps
and loss of memory.
Sounds like a clear case
of Brewer's Measles.
I thought he had a
history of alcoholism, sir.
Exactly, Dr Bird.
Now, what's your poison, mister?
Er, b-b-brandy, sir.
Subject to wind?
Well, like anyone, sir, r-r-repeating.
Hmm. Open your mouth.
Fouling the air?
Let's open your mouth.
Yes, well, you come into theatre tomorrow,
and I'll, er... have a look at you.
Tell you what, sir.
I'll be all right
once they find out who I am.
Once they get onto that, I'm...
Persuading him to take the cure?
Er, y-yes, sir.
I see you want an oesophagoscopy.
Yeah, well, we ought to know
what his insides are like, sir.
An illicit still, I should imagine.
All right, mister.
An oesophagoscopy is what, exactly?
Now, let me see...
Never mind that!
Er, I had it on the tip of my tongue.
That's a funny place for it.
Usually down the throat.
Of course.
Tube down the oesophagus,
taking care not to
knock his teeth out.
You all right, Dr Bird?
Now, the next mister.
Now his, er...
his duodenal's failing to respond
to a medical regimen.
- Are we agreed on a Polya gastrectomy?
- Yes, sir.
Absolutely, sir!
Well, mister,
getting enough milk puddings?
The merest sight of semolina
makes me heave, Mr Carr.
Don't ask me why.
Lovely grub!
Now let's have a look at you.
Still worrying about yourself?
I get depressed, Mr Carr. I'm never
what you call "on top of the world".
I abhor my work.
Find a hobby. Brass rubbing.
Basket making
Tummy's still not much better.
Will you come into theatre tomorrow,
and I'll do a spot Of embroidery.
- Physically, I'm not too bad, sir.
- I'll take away a bit of your stomach.
You'll soon learn to live without it.
Ah, mister!
Your bum any better?
Feeling sore, is it?
You won't see me down no theatre!
As soon as they can bring me
in my clothes, I'll be off.
And I thought I was on the mend.
He'll fix you up. Don't worry.
Some of these doctors, half the
time they tell you not to smoke,
half the time they're smoking
more than what you or I do!
You look at Churchill.
Churchill weren't a doctor.
I never said he was.
Well, what's he got
to do with it, then?
You look at the way he smoked!
Yeah, but he never
told you not to smoke.
Three weeks of tapioca
down the drain.
Good morning...
This is where you live,
in bachelor splendour!
Oh, that's mother.
She's very beautiful.
She... was.
Oh, and that's Mary and me.
She used to take me to school.
I was six years younger, you see.
We were like brother and sister.
That's all, Cleo. That's all there's
ever been. You must believe that.
I'm sorry I ran off that way.
At least you've had a foretaste
of how jealous I can be.
Do you think
I don't feel the same
when I see you with...
Johnny Monk?
Is anything wrong?
No, it's nothing.
It must have been a fault.
In the glass.
Young Neil not on duty today?
Is he, Nurse?
Oh, er, no, Sister.
He picked up Nurse Norton
at the hostel this morning
and took her riding.
I am at a loss as to
what to say to you, Mary.
- Me, sir?
- Except to apologise to you on his behalf,
and hope he'll come to his senses
- before it's too late.
- But...
I have told him
that I will not speak to him again
until he breaks it off
with that girl.
Oh, no. You mustn't.
He ought to be back
in his room by now.
Will you wait here, Mary?
I'll... not be long.
- Neil?
- Mmm?
Do you have any idea why
your father victimizes Johnny?
Father's a great man, Cleo,
but he's no longer... young.
Johnny's a brilliant surgeon.
I don't know.
It's possible Father feels threatened.
You're pretty brilliant yourself.
I'm afraid I'm not in the same class.
If ever I had to be operated on,
I'd feel safer in Johnny's hands...
than anyone's.
Even your father's?
You're forgetting, Cleo, a surgeon
cannot operate on his own son.
How's your hand?
It's... it's nothing.
So many evenings I've longed
to bring you back here,
but my father believes
only pain can come from
trying to mix the races.
He's a product of
his environment, darling.
He holds the attitude
of his generation.
I couldn't afford to hurt him.
But I can't wait any longer!
Neil... darling!
I adore you.
Neil, are you...
Neil, what is it?
It's nothing.
It's nothing, I tell you.
Now relax.
All right?
I know it's difficult.
You naturally tend to recoil from
anything that's nasty, eh?
Nice little cut-throat, this.
Not that it's going to get near many
throats today. Quite the reverse, eh?
Now the bloke who used
to do this job, Lionel.
It, well... it wasn't
so much a job to him.
More a labour of love, you know.
Used to issue tin trousers
whenever he was on duty.
Hospital barber he was, though.
Very good at shod back and sides.
But they took him off
Well, I mean, they had to,
after a patient complained
he'd had his privates shaved
when he was only going to
have his tonsils out.
Personally, I thought it was a shame.
Useful work combined
with harmless pleasure.
The secret of a happy life.
Poor old Lionel.
Now look, don't flinch, or you'll do
yourself a mischief. All right?
One slip there and Bob's your auntie.
Bob's your... auntie!
Anyway, most of the healing arts
are bent, if you want my frank opinion.
You were a teacher, weren't you?
Yeah, well, it's the
same country, isn't it?
Socially acceptable sublimation.
Take this case described in a medical
journal I bought one afternoon in Soho.
This poor berk,
he said to his psychiatrist...
He said;
"Doctor, doctor, I got a problem."
He said; "I find I only
fancy thirteen-year-old boys."
And the doctor said;
"Well, everyone to his own taste.
"It's tricky, but not insuperable."
And the bloke said: "Yeah, but
only thirteen-year-old boys...
"with a wet chest cough."
And do you know, it was enough
for him to hear 'em cough.
Now I'm going to ask you
to hold your own, if you'd be so kind.
Down out of the way.
Out of the way.
Yeah, you got the idea. Right...
Anyway, d'you know they fixed him up?
This bloke, hmm?
He's now a Voluntary Health 'visitor
to the children's ward
of a large London chest hospital.
Yeah, welfare work combined
with harmless pleasure.
The secret of a happy life.
But just because poor old Lionel
overstepped the mark...
He's probably up the West End
every night,
exposing himself to all and sundry.
And don't you agree that a useful person
should not be made a scapegoat
due to one misdemeanor?
Did I tickle? Did I?
Sometimes think I should charge.
Mr Ash, the end bed.
Now then, Mr Ash, up we go!
That all right?
- Yes, thank you, Nurse.
- You'll feel better soon, won't you?
That's right!
Good old dad!
Clever's not the word!
There. There you are.
Easy. There you are!
Mr Foster, keep an eye on the colour
of the fluid. Any change, call a nurse.
Tell you what, me old mate.
I could do with a smoke.
You're on your way to theatre, mister.
And Nurse Powell is not your old mate.
All right, me old mate.
You have a laugh on me.
'Bout all I've got left to give you!
Bring out your dead!
Bring out your... dead.
Aye. Here, Mr Barnet, have you got
a drop of brandy on you, me old mate?
That's enough, mister!
He likes a laugh at
me old Kentish Town, there.
Top of the morning to you, Michael.
What about Minestrone
in the two-thirty at Chep...
Anything to do with operations,
you know what I mean, Nurse?
You'll be gelling
an injection downstairs.
- Another jab in my arm?
- Or your bum.
Didn't your injection
make you feel any better?
No, anything to do
with needles, and...
You won't feel a thing.
A drop of ether
would go down very nice!
You've got to stop that drinking.
Where's the harm?
It's my life! My liver!
One day we are going to drop somebody.
Oh, don't you say that, Nurse. He's worked
for all the big construction firms.
Haven't you, Michael?
Up the ladders, McAlpine, Wimpey.
'Ere, you know what
Wimpey stands for?
We Import Millions
of Paddies Every Year.
Will Dr Singh please report
to Dame Myra Hess Ward. Thank you.
Go on.
Hey! Good old dad!
He's barely conscious.
He can't even hear you.
Doing well, he is.
The will to live.
My dad's the same.
72 and game for anything.
I say: "All right, Dad, Woburn Abbey?"
Up he gets, puts his mac on.
He's always first in the minibus.
He's less trouble than one of the kiddies.
During the season,
we go most Sundays.
Perhaps as far as Beaulieu.
For the veteran cars.
Or Hampton Court.
Have a laugh at the maze.
I'm more interested in
the history side myself.
Having forty winks?
I take a special interest
in the servants' quarters.
I say to the wife:
"You'd have been here, love,
not upstairs. A skivvy for life."
And I'd have been one of
an army of gardeners
scything the lawn
from dawn to dusk.
And our children after us,
ad infinitum.
But these lords, they're only
hanging on by our permission.
This is the twentieth century.
Do you agree'?
The armies of democracy
on the move.
Columns of minibuses moving
up the motorways.
Hampton Court to Woburn Abbey,
Woburn Abbey to Windermere.
Well, it's better than
when my dad was a boy!
He never got his nose
outside the street!
Are you a socialist?
I'm a socialist, yes.
I'll be quite frank with you.
The early socialists thought that
when they had achieved all this,
the rest would follow.
Achieved what?
The state we're in. This ward.
Where TB and diphtheria
are more or less cured.
And a lot of useless people
are kept alive,
to be a burden to the country.
You've got to do what
you can for people!
- Whether they're useful or not!
- But what can you do?
You can't cure loneliness.
Ugliness. Boredom.
The best you can hope for
is that they'll be lonely
on clean sheets.
Ugly on tapioca pudding.
And to hell with
the quality of life.
You can't hear yourself think
down there for the squeak of rubber gloves.
This surgeon, he looked at
his list of operations, he said:
"This lot now and,
after dinner, four abortions."
He said to me, he said:
"It's murder mile.
"All morning we save the old.
All afternoon we kill the young."
Mr Flagg?
Better let him have a lie down.
This fellows returned to go...
Flagg's gone up one.
They don't even bother
to move me any more.
Sing a different song, Mr Mackie.
Well, at least it shows that
you don't expect me to last...
much longer.
Come on, cheer up!
Use your earphones.
Good God!
And now his renal function's
down to two per cent.
Why did he not report it sooner?
Perhaps he really thought it
was a pulled muscle, sir.
There must have been
other symptoms.
Like lack of appetite,
diminished micturition,
haematuria, pyonephrosis...
which would have
entailed a nephrectomy.
He must have felt like an acid head
after a really far-out trip.
Do you mind talking to us
in English, Mr Monk?
In English,
both his kidneys are rotten.
He can only survive
in a machine.
A machine?
No, I only consider dialysis
as pre-operative.
You mean you think
we should transplant?
What else can we do?
But he's Blood Group B, sir!
Are there no Group B
cadaver kidneys?
I doubt it, sir.
I'm Group A, or he could
have had one of mine.
He'd never have allowed that, sir.
He would never
have been asked, Sister.
Let's face it,
there isn't much chance of finding
a living donor Of the right tissue type.
Isn't he an only child?
So there's no near relative.
We'll put out an immediate call
for Group B cadavers.
Mr Boyd...
Yes? Can't you see we're busy?
Yes, sir, but...
I'm Blood Group B!
I'm Blood Group B!
Dr Bird's told me
to be careful shaving.
She reckons I've got nervous eczema.
Trust muggins!
Soon as my op starts healing,
I come out in a nervous rash.
Look at me with these sodding cramps.
I thought he was going to fix me up,
get rid of the sodding cramps.
When I come round, what's he done?
Took out a couple of my teeth!
And what am I supposed to do?
Make a basket!
How is basket-making going
to help the frustrations of a lifetime?
When I was forced to give up teaching,
I had a mental breakdown.
And they made that an excuse
for getting rid of me.
But it was they who'd caused it
in the first place!
In fact, I'd have to lay my perforated
ulcer directly at their doorstep.
Then go on.
If you pushed me.
Suppose what got me through it
was the thought of my adopted boy.
My wife, er, couldn't have children.
We're separated now.
It never went too swimmingly.
Er, was it to do with her underneaths?
Womb trouble?
Oh, that sort of style, yes.
He's told you the tissue type's okay.
You can give the white boy
your kidney.
But the old man doesn't like it
any more than I do.
I don't like it, Johnny,
but we can't wait.
He's dying.
So he's dying!
One honky less. We should care!
You and I. Me from Port of Spain,
you from Anguilla,
descendants of their slaves.
I love Neil,
and Neil loves me.
We can't go on meeting hate with hate.
More hate with more hate!
Haven't we seen enough hate, Johnny?
Who was it that said:
"We must love one another...
"or die"?
Some white boy?
I'm so sorry.
Next time I'll knock.
They've found out who I am.
Edward Loach.
Got a wife, too.
Not looking forward much
to her coming in.
She's frowning in
the sunlight, that's all.
She's always frowning,
me old mate.
I like a laugh and a joke.
That's only human nature.
She's a good woman.
I don't mean that,
she keeps a clean house.
But always on at me
to take the cure.
Well, it's your only feasible course.
Same with these doctors.
Half the time they're
telling you not to smoke.
Half the time they're smoking
more than what you or I do.
Gently now.
Oh, look at this!
All right.
Oh, these sodding cramps!
To think I used to drink for pleasure!
Used to be drunk days on end.
I'm talking about Shanghai.
Beachcombing, I was,
in the International Settlement.
Never knew a day's pain.
You ever been China way?
Never that far afield.
Hong Kong... Ship Street...
Where the girls used to hang in cages
outside so you could pick 'em out
before you went in for your jig-jig.
Sure, they never knew no different.
Half of them couldn't speak
the King's English.
Never been civilized.
Oh, some of them are all right.
Hmm, now you're talking.
Good little fighters.
Always give you the salute,
call you Sahib.
Aye, knew their place.
"Tikh hai, Johnny".
Bloody Rolls-Royce, yes.
Can he cure my sodding cramps?
I heard from my brother this morning.
Did you, sir'? Well done!
He tells me that he's just received
a letter, posted in 1943.
Go on!
Now, a letter posted in 1943
would cost...
tuppence halfpenny. Right?
Now the post office,
they want him...
to make up the difference.
Up to fourpence.
Penny halfpenny.
But they reckon that
it was underpaid by the sender.
So they want him to pay double.
For a letter posted in 1943!
And delayed by the post office.
Bloody marvellous, isn't it?
Course, he's going to fight it.
Only right.
Who wants a bottle?
All depends what's in it,
me old mate.
Drop of Three Star
would go down very nice.
- This patient?
- What?
- Want a bottle?
- No.
They always wake you
for a cup of tea or a bottle.
An overdose of the right drug's
all I want.
Whining Winnie's off.
Oh, there should be clinics
where one could get one's death.
Just like a library book.
I Tell us the same old story... I
The Eskimos let their old
die in peace.
The Eskimos haven't got
an Health Service!
The primitive race,
they could teach us a lot.
I was an engineer
in India and in Burma.
Oh, I was a sort of, er, batman
to the engineers down India way.
If you can help people,
it's only Christian.
Are you religious?
I might go to church to see
the stained glass. Otherwise...
I parted company
with organized religion
some years ago.
When I saw it was being used
to justify the activities of cretins.
Jesus Christ lived in a largely
unpopulated world.
Disease and natural hazards
killed off multitudes every year.
Kept the balance of nature.
If He came back today, he would
not say "Thou shalt not kill".
He would advocate mass euthanasia.
Well, who's to estimate
the value of a life?
Somebody's got to!
Seventy million British by
the tum of the century!
- Nurse!
- Nurse!
Come on, me old mate.
What's the matter with this patient?
Want a lie down?
Break the power of the unions!
Never mind that now.
All right, sir, all right.
Not enough kidney machines!
Close down the luxury trains!
Dear oh dear, are you still
sowing discontent?
Get the striptease girls
back to the farms!
It's all right for him,
going out to India lording it.
I'm not sorry the Labour government
gave it back to its rightful owners.
What's his trouble then,
the old fella?
That what the smell is?
Come along ladies, back to bed.
What's up now?
Well, it's Matron's rounds, isn't it?
A nation doesn't grow great
without a sense of duty.
Now come on, Mr Mackie.
Try to behave yourself
while Matron's here.
Without a vision of destiny.
Look, mixed marriages
advocated on television.
Going against nature.
Proved scientifically that some
races are genetically inferior.
- Churchill knew this.
- Hush, now, there's a good boy.
Inspired us with purpose.
- Matron's coming.
- Call Dr Bird for Mr Mackie.
- Ah, good morning, Sister.
- Morning, Matron.
Mrs Sitara, Mrs Bandari.
Shall we do a round?
Ah, good morning.
How are you today?
That's right! Keep smiling!
You'll soon be out of here.
Good morning,
and how are you today?
Morning, Matron.
Not so dusty, thank you.
- That's the style!
- When you consider half my tummy's...
- Keep it up!
- Been taken away.
Good morning.
How are you getting on?
Are they treating you well?
- Oh, not too bad.
- That's right.
Though I'd like to go to a toilet.
Sister, fetch this patient
a bedpan, please.
No, a toilet with a decent chain.
Like I've got at home.
Staff, get Mr Flagg a bedpan.
Nurse, get Mr Flagg a bedpan.
Oh, Nurse Sweet,
get Mr Flagg a bedpan.
- Mr Barnet!
- Hallo!
Bedpan for Mr Flagg!
Good morning.
How are you?
Well, miss. I get these cramps...
- Good!
- I thought the surgeon was...
Soon be out of here!
I don't want the cure!
- Good morning!
- Morning, Matron!
- How are you getting on?
- Lovely! Everything's lovely.
Well, that's what we like to hear.
Isn't it, Sister?
Get well soon!
We need the beds.
You couldn't have waited, could you?
Hey! What's he brought this for?
You said you wanted
to go to the toilet.
I heard you!
Look, she said "Are you all right?".
I said "Not too bad...
"but I'd like a toilet
with a decent chain,
"like I've got at home".
Mr Flagg doesn't want a bedpan.
He only said he was
looking forward to a decent chain.
Look, Pagliacci.
Matron, she says "Do this", we do it.
It's the Royal Command.
All right?
I don't want no bedpan!
Now, come on.
Knickers down and ups-a-daisy.
Mr Mackie?
Ah, Doctor.
Oh, nurse, this patient
should have screens round.
- Mr Barnet?
- Hallo.
More screens, please, for Doctor.
Well, they're all being used up there.
- Nurse!
- Mr Barnet!
Shall I take you off now, Mr Flagg?
I never wanted to come on here.
I know.
But now...
I think you'd better leave me.
Anything I can get you, Dr Bird?
Aspirate a pleural effusion.
Oh yes, er, thank you, Nurse.
He should be in the terminal ward.
- Is Sister busy?
- With Matron.
- Well, will you ask her to arrange it?
- Yes.
And I'll confirm it with the...
with the other ward.
Dr Bird please report to the...
Dr Bird...
- Mr Barnet?
- Hallo?
Mr Mackie to the terminal ward.
Go for a nice long ride now,
Mr Mackie!
Here we go again, eh?
Chuff, chuff, chuff, chuff...
We're removing the beds in this ward
as soon as they fall vacant,
because the whole block is in
for an extensive face-lift.
- Long overdue.
- Yes.
The walls will be in
washable avocado pear,
the curtain, the counterpanes
in Cotswold stone.
High level louvres on the windows,
and King's Fund beds
with slimline mattresses.
Very nice!
Into the jet age with one big jump!
Ah! Another one gone
from there, Sister?
- Yes.
- Good! Keep them moving!
- Good morning, chaps.
- Morning!
Old misery guts.
Three times his heart stopped,
and three times they brought him back.
They were just fetching
the artificial respirator
when some daring soul decided
to call it a day.
D'you know, now that pump's
been allowed to pack up,
the ugly expression's gone.
A younger face is showing through.
You can almost see how once,
someone might even have fancied him.
Fags out, Les.
- Are they ready, Mary?
- On their way, sir.
I am about to risk
Nurse Norton's life
on the slender chance
that my son may live.
Her life wouldn't be worth living
without him.
I know how she feels.
And whose fault is it
his disease was so far advanced?
I tell you, you mustn't say that.
You mustn't think that
even for a moment!
Then why didn't he talk to me
of the pain he must have suffered?
And I wanted so much
to make up to you,
in some way, his broken promise.
To make you one of the family.
But Neil doesn't love me.
And I don't love him.
I've never loved him - not like that.
It's true, I tell you!
You mean...?
By heaven, if I were
thirty years younger, I'd...
What has age got to do with love?
Do you know what kind
of a man you'd be getting?
An old fool
that thought he could play God.
Who spent his life saving others.
Neil and Cleo could
transplant their own hearts,
but with kidneys,
they need your dexterity,
old fool or no.
Mine and Mr Monk's.
Mr Boyd?
The donor's anesthetized.
Thank you, Nurse.
Good luck, sir.
Time's slipping away.
All they can think to do
is bang my knees with little hammers.
Come round half a dozen times
a day for a sample of my blood.
If any more of them comes round me
for blood, I shall ask them straight:
what on earth they're doing
with the bleeding stuff!
- This wards a dead and alive hole.
- Jesus!
Beds disappearing
so it gives you the creeps.
I thought you'd come for me
for the cure.
Get Out of Jail Free.
You could have done with that before.
Do I keep that?
Well, couldn't you, me old mate?
Done with that before, eh?
Hey, do you get many
poofs in prison?
Who told you anything
about me being in prison?
Well, you did.
In confidence.
What? Oh yeah.
Still, it's a funny place to put
a poof, though, when you think of it.
Best place for 'em.
Give 'em the cat!
Give them the cat!
They might enjoy it, though.
A few of them.
You've got to be so careful
you don't give people pleasure.
Now don't you agree, eh?
Piccadilly. One hotel.
One thousand two hundred.
No. Soon as I knew I had
this dicky ticker, I said to the wife:
"No Rhine Valley for us, love.
Not this year, anyway.
"Have to make do with day trips."
What's for afters?
Rhubarb crumble for you three.
Semolina for muggins.
I like a bit of stewed rhubarb,
with plenty of sugar.
Fresh from me own allotment.
Some of the nicest holidays have been
day trips, come to think of it.
Park the bus, me and the boys
pitch the tent in the nearest field.
Grandpa-fill get the volcano going.
Soon have a decent cup of tea.
Mother'll give our youngest the breast, and
I'll join the boys for a game of cricket.
You're a lucky man.
I knew it, too. Five lovely kiddies.
Yeah, my eldest girl, she's six,
she looked at me, you know the
way they do, very threatening?
I thought
"Hello, what have I done now?"
She said: "Daddy, you're the only one
that hasn't waggled my loose tooth."
Dr Westland to Scatari Ward, please.
Dr Westland to Scatari Ward, please.
Afternoon, Chaplain.
How are you, Mr Mackie?
I'm not Mr Mackie.
I've got Mr Mackie down
for the end bed.
He's dead.
Night before last,
to the terminal ward.
Oh dear, somebody slipped up
on the paperwork again.
Too many cooks spoil the broth.
Sorry I haven't popped in sooner,
but I was giving the Last Unction
to a patient in Sherpa Tensing Ward.
So I thought, while I was in
this neck of the woods,
I'd kill two birds with one stone.
Was Mr Mackie C of E?
He hadn't got no time for religion.
Ah well, they always put
"C of E" for that.
It saves a lot of paperwork.
Good afternoon.
I have a message for you.
God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten son,
that whosoever believeth in Him
should not perish, but have...
everlasting life.
I see by the paper they' re trying
to bring back capital punishment.
Some Member of Parliament.
They come down our street.
Petitions, you know.
A list of signatures.
They wanted me to sign
to bring back hanging.
I said no fear.
- Did you?
- Oh yes. "No fear!", I said.
Well done!
Hangings too good for 'em.
They ought to be slowly
tortured to death.
I must love you and leave you.
Nice to have a natter, though.
And your friend over there?
Mr Foster.
Just bend his ear for a moment.
Mr Foster!
Come along, squire. Wakey-wakey!
Nurse! Sister!
I'm afraid this patient
doesn't seem too well.
Stafford Cripps speaking.
I've got a cardiac arrest - B for Bertie.
Cardiac and defibrillator trolleys,
please. Thank you.
All you patients back to bed, please.
Better try some
external cardiac depression.
On the floor, don't you think?
The bed's too soft.
Defibrillator trolley to
Stafford Cripps Ward. Urgently, please.
Defibrillator trolley to Stafford
Cripps Ward. Urgently, please.
- No joy?
- No.
- Here!
- Sorry!
We've tried mouth-to-mouth
and cardiac compression.
Well, give him oxygen.
No spanner!
Find a spanner, Mr Barnet.
Nurse Sweet...
I wish people would put things
back where they found them!
Defibrillator trolley to
Stafford Cripps Ward. Urgently, please.
Defibrillator trolley to Stafford
Cripps Ward. Urgently, please.
There you are!
Mr Barnet!
How many slices
can you eat, this patient?
One round is all I'm allowed, Nurse.
How many sugars?
Stand back!
How many slices
can you eat, this patient?
How many sugars?
Will Dr Singh please report
to Bannister Ward. Thank you.
He's fine.
He's pinked up pretty well.
Now it's up to the medical team
to watch for signs of rejection.
How's Cleo?
She'll be...
she'll be okay.
Guess I'll go have a look at her.
What can I say?
It's not easy.
To err is human,
to forgive - divine.
Who said that?
Some white boy.
The devil makes work
for idle hands, eh?
Will all available staff
report to casualty immediately.
Will all avai...
High level louvres on the windows.
King's Fund beds
with slimline mattresses.
Into the jet age with one big jump!
Kenny's back.
By George, no!
Young Kenny.
Motorbike mad.
A new patient in this ward, Sister?
He was on his bike, Matron.
He swerved to avoid a dog,
and made a school bus
go into a cement mixer.
Casualty's jammed solid, patients
being allocated to any available wards.
Oh dear!
He must have nine lives.
Patients are reminded that
record requests for Radio Battenburg
mus'! be made before
half-past eight am. Thank you.
How's my clever boy getting on, then?
Sitting up and taking notice? Hm?
Look what the nice nurse
has brought you.
There, you like those, don't you?
There's a clever boy!
Now we take that one and that one.
All right, princess?
Any sign of the ambulance
coming yet, Nurse?
Wherever's the fire, Mr Flagg?
You can't wait to get away from us.
Oh no, ifs not that!
Only I could have been home,
you know, in ten minutes on the bus.
I could have had a cup of tea
with the old woman,
and used a toilet with a decent chain.
I, er, I suppose young Ken arouses
your old interest in boys, eh?
Once a teacher, always a teacher.
Eh, Kenny?
Oh yeah.
Yeah. And he's going to need
some teaching and all,
wherever they put him.
And if society sees fit to condemn
me to a life of clerical drudgery,
I shall do whatever I can,
shan't I, son?
Welfare work combined
with harmless pleasure.
You can't beat it!
Now, come on, you have a go.
That's it.
You got a better prospect than me.
I'm all booked in for the cure.
Some great barn of a place,
miles from sodding civilization.
Oh, now here's a funny piece.
Where do you think
this perisher goes, eh?
Oh, Jesus Christ all-bleeding-mighty!
Humorous, really, when you think
of me out India way, Africa, Malaya...
Port Swettenham...
Penang, Kuala Lumpur.
I had fifty wogs under me at one time.
Gurkhas some of 'em.
I was a sahib.
How are you, Kenny?
Smiling through?
Wonderful spirit!
Miss Loach, Mrs Flagg, there's
an ambulance outside for you.
Jesus Christ, God!
- Oh, I... I had a bag!
- It's here.
No turning back now.
Well, you'll be out soon.
Oh yes, as soon as they arrest
the spread of my eczema.
- And you take care.
- Oh, yes, yes.
After you've been in here some time,
the outside world can seem
like the headlong rush of the
Gadarene Swine, they tell me.
Cheer up, son.
Cheerio, Cambridge.
If you feel like
dropping in some time,
they say there's a Green Line bus
not too far off.
Ah, right, thanks.
And, er, good luck.
Er... you were going to ask
your landlady about the room.
Ooh, as a matter of fact, I think
it's probably gone, but, erm...
- You can ask?
- Er, yes.
Cheerio, Ken!
That's right, Kenny,
you shoot me dead.
I'd appreciate that, the prospect
I've got, fucking great barn of a place!
You know, son, we speak the
most beautiful language in the world.
The tongue that Shakespeare spake.
And yet most of the people you meet
can utter nothing better
than a string of filth.
Oh, Ted.
Don't let anyone catch you,
all right?
What do I owe you?
Well, with the money for the gee-gees,
let's say, er...
three quid. Call it square.
How does it come to three quid?
Well, I've got my overheads to cover,
haven't I?
Mind you, I think one should be able to mix
without actually lowering standards.
Like the time I took
my slum boys camping.
What's more, I tried an experiment.
Paired them off with college boys.
Nicely spoken lads, you know.
The ragamuffins visibly rose.
They actually raised themselves.
My mother said "Under their rags,
they're perfect gentlemen."
But this is the crux
of the matter, son.
The college boys
were totally unscathed.
And that is the secret
of the governing class.
Secret of the Royal Family.
And when I was a teacher, I was privileged
to know many of the Royal Family personally.
No side at all.
Regal bearing, yes. But not
the snobbery of the newly rich.
Simple dignity.
Which is what 'rs missing
from so much of fife today.
Were ail the same. We need
something fine to which to aspire.
We want to rise,
mi sink in the bog.